Since 2011, Syria has been embroiled in a Civil War that has devastated the nation and forced millions of Syrians to flee to the Western countries for refuge. The Civil War, which has claimed thousands of lives, began due to the discontent against the government of Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria. The war is being fought between the government of Assad, supported by its allies, and forces that want the ouster of the Syrian President. Also creating problems is the Islamic State, which rose to prominence in 2014 by capturing large parts of Iraq and later extended its influence on the eastern part of Syria.
The United States, which has been intervening in strife-torn Syria since 2011, is opposed to the Syrian Government and wants the ouster of Assad. The nation has been helping the rebels by providing them food aid, materials, funds, and training. Meanwhile, Assad is supported by countries such as Iran and Russia, while the United States has been conducting air raids against the Islamic State, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations.
Barack Obama, the then President of the United States, was against direct military intervention in Syria following the 2011 Civil War against Assad’s Government; but President Obama did impose sanctions. Obama refrained from ordering military attacks against Syria. With the change of guard at the White House, Obama’s policy of not attacking Assad’s military forces has not be made clear by his successor, Donald Trump.
The current US president’s aim is to increase the air attacks against the ISIS; however, he appears to accepted the reality that Assad is the leader of Syria. Trump’s administration’s policy witnessed a true test when Assad launched a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun. The US responded with an airstrike.
On April 4th, 2017, 74 people were killed and more than 557 were injured in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, in what is reported to be a chemical attack. While activists claim the Syrian government carried out a targeted chemical attack, Russia says the gas is the result of a bombing attack by the Syrian forces on a chemical munitions depot that was under the command of terrorists.
Nevertheless, on April 6th, 2017, in response to the chemical attack, the United States launched an attack on the Syrian government’s airbase from where, according to US officials, Syrian warplanes had flown to carry out the attack.